The Pearl of the Andaman

Ian Hughes on 06 January 2015

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I was lucky enough to live and work in Thailand for around a year and during that time I fell completely in love with the country. It's people, culture, beauty and the some of its undiscovered gems made it an amazing place to reside. Undiscovered gem is almost literal in the case of the island of Koh Muk. It means "Pearl Island" in Thai and it certainly lives up to its billing. Located a short long boat ride from where I lived in Trang, the tranquil golden sandy beaches and glistening blue sea are a miniature paradise and I visited there on a number of occasions. Set amongst a small group of islands including the equally beautiful Koh Kradan it is home to a small but varied selection of accommodation from inexpensive but comfortable tents set back into the forest, to a more luxurious resort with an infinity pool looking out onto the beach and the pristine sea that laps up against it. With Thailand being so reasonable however, even this resort is well within most budgets, with almost incomparable value for money.

It is beyond the resorts that make this island so special however, with eye-catching natural beauty surrounding your senses. None more so than the real gem within Koh Muk, the Emerald Cave, or Morakot Cave. Innocently covered and surrounded by rocks on all sides, only accessible by longboat, this uninviting looking cavern holds an alluring secret. Once at the cave, your local guide will lead you into the cave with an ominous looking rope to hold onto, swimmingly blindly into the darkness it becomes clear why this is necessary. As the winding black cavity continues into an ever darker tunnel your heart races while your grip on the rope, your lifeline increases. Then from nowhere the sunshine rays spray through the shadows and light up your eyes. The cave reveals its secret in sparkling glory, an enclosed inland beach with its own natural skylight through the sharp imposing rocks. The water reaches the beach in almost apologetic fashion, unable or unwilling to tarnish this natural wonder. The sea is a beautiful emerald green within the cove, hence the name, and were it not for a lack of any available food and water within there it would be easy to stay indefinitely. As you head back through the pitch black cave you begin to wonder what other secrets this vast and inspiring country holds, and there are many.

This is just one of many astoundingly beautiful discoveries I made while in Thailand, and I feel I have a great knowledge of the area that many other travel agents would not have due to my experience living there. So if this has inspired you to seek adventure in the land of smiles then I would be only too happy to help, but expect me to be jealous!

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